Death in a Bowl, by Raoul Whitfield

Sep. 17th, 2017 04:00 pm
essentialsaltes: (dead)
[personal profile] essentialsaltes
Fresh off reading about Tough Guy Writers, it was maybe inevitable that a few titles caught my eye. Death in a Bowl, featuring a murder of the conductor at the Hollywood Bowl during a concert certainly punched the right buttons. Sadly, there's not as much local color as I hoped, and a plot that's hopelessly cockamamie by the end. But a few bloodthirsty and cold-blooded nouns and verbs smash together pleasingly every once in a while.

"Do I look like a killer?"
"I never saw a man who looked like one...You look like a liar to me--I've seen them before."

Scientismists exist

Sep. 17th, 2017 07:53 am
essentialsaltes: (pWNED!!! by Science)
[personal profile] essentialsaltes
 Remember when I suggested that scientismists would require Queen Elizabeth to pump out hundreds of eggs a day? That's pretty close to this guy.

given the great demands placed on the female body during homo sapiens’ lengthy gestation and lactation period, would it be wrong for me to suggest that encouraging males to select mates based on characteristics that enable the female to generate wealth independent of a mate rather than on their ability to bear children may have long term negative effects on the species. or is that just the crazy in me talking?

amyvanhym: Matt Taylor is life (rockabillyscifi)
[personal profile] amyvanhym
Sometimes opponents in argument, especially opponents who adhere to some ideology or other, will deliberately blind themselves to your good faith. If someone says something like the following to you, either because they've learned of an affiliation you have (or are accused of having), or after you have tried to earnestly engage with them:

"Your hatred has become such a large part of you that it is now part of your identity. Appeals to reason and kindness will have no effect on you. There is nothing you can do to make me forget your true intentions."

It's no longer of use to you, or to your position, to continue to be friendly and forgiving with this person. What this cold, robotic and self-righteous projection really means:

"Hatred has become such a large part of how I view you that it is now part of the identity I ascribe to you. Your appeals to reason and kindness will have no effect on me, because the identity that I have ascribed to you precludes me interpreting your reasonableness and kindness as such. There is nothing you can do to erase my villification of you."

Such a person has revoked all willingness to grant you the benefit of the doubt. You may as well do the same, as all benefit you extend to the person will be taken advantage of, turned around and weaponized against you. This is why you should never apologize to an ideologue on a moral crusade if you intend to remain a free and independent agent. Zealots who smell weakness will not be satisfied until opponents are either destroyed or assimilated into the horde. This is especially true of the current climate's "Social Justice" Marxists, as their ideology denies the existence of altruism (when convenient), viewing all human interaction instead as purely a matter of power and authority. In other words, any compassion you extend is perceived by a Social Marxist as a power vacuum to take advantage of, which they will do if you fail to be sufficiently assertive.

Once you've realized you've been pigeonholed in such a way, it's about time to either back out of the conversation entirely, enact perfect robotic patience and deal exclusively in the facts, or lay the rhetorical smackdown. If you choose the latter, forget politeness. Mock and ridicule the person's unreasonable claims and standards. Get a bit mean. Bruise the opponent's ego. Reveal your disgust and disdain.

In other words, abandon the high ground in favor of the equal ground, and beat them there. You will win because you're free.

I felt like writing about this because of this hilarious clip: Middle-aged Man Triggered by MILO Poster at UC Berkeley.

The guys who were confronted by the man who tore their poster down didn't apologize or sympathize, didn't try to reason with him much and didn't get aggressive with him either. They just plain wouldn't take his shit and showed him that they found him ridiculous. They took the equal ground and laughed at him, and he downright shorted out.

Scumbag DeFranco

Sep. 13th, 2017 03:24 pm
amyvanhym: (intomadness)
[personal profile] amyvanhym
Sargon has done a video, largely about PewDiePie, near the end of which he decries physically violent responses to racist cuss words. As a sane and reasonable individual, I agree with him. At 10:10 in the video (embedded below), after showing a violent clip, he said, "Did anyone feel good watching that? Did anyone feel good watching a black kid punching a white woman in the face because she said some words?"

It reminded me of a Philip DeFranco segment that I've been carrying with me since May. DeFranco tries to come off as a cool, chill, friendly, easygoing, conversational guy. That's the persona he projects to his 5.6 million YouTube subscribers. And I think that's what makes his open enjoyment of racially motivated violence so insidious and thus so memorable.

In May DeFranco featured a video of a black man and a white woman arguing heatedly on a bus which escalated to namecalling, which escalated to "nigger." The man waited for a chance to escape, slapped her extremely hard in the face, and ran away.

After showing the footage DeFranco said, "Violence is never an appropriate response to words, BUUUUUTT, I don't feel bad that it happened. Hitting that woman was wrong, it was illegal, it was technically assault, BUT, if I was that bus driver and that lady was like "Call 911! Call 911! Call the police!" I'd be like, "Okay... Oh no, I forgot how phones work! Oh no!"

Amateur Windowspaint infographic and video embeds under the cut. )

===================================

tl;dr fuck that guy

Edit: Oh hey, and look what happened within five minutes of my submitting this entry to /r/DeFranco, Philip DeFranco's official subreddit: )
amyvanhym: (queenslayer)
[personal profile] amyvanhym
A day after watching S7E7 I scrawled out a long, overambitious and scatterbrained mountain of half-hatched and stupid reflections. Over the next however long, I'll try to break up my thoughts into relatively bite-sized (or at least snack-sized), saner parts. I've been dicking around on reddit the couple weeks since, arguing here and there about Thrones. I wish reddit wasn't the main conversation hub but there the conversation be, churning on and on in the land of minimal individual identity, low comment shelf life and voting-induced splitting.

The Bittersweet vs Tragic Pseudodebate

Some in the reddit Thronesphere have suggested that because George RR Martin said the series will have a "bittersweet" ending, one of more main beloved characters (Jon, Daenerys) is likely to die. The popular counterargument? REEEEE BITTERSWEET DOESN'T MEAN TRAGIC REEEEEEEE

Except it does. Tragedy is the bitter part of bittersweetness. The sweetness is the meaningful thing you build using the tragedy or in spite of the tragedy. An ending can't be bittersweet unless it's also tragic. TVTropes confirms: "Somewhere between the Happily Ever After and the Downer Ending, the Bittersweet Ending happens when victory came at a harsh price, when, for whatever reason, the heroes cannot fully enjoy the reward of their actions, when some irrevocable loss has happened during the course of the events, and nothing will ever be the same again."

TVTropes' fourth example of a bittersweet ending: "When the victory is only achieved at the sacrifice of people dear to the heroes (if not the heroes themselves)."

It's a non-debate. Death of a beloved character is an element of the bittersweet ending. Calling it 'bittersweet' absolutely does not preclude the death of one or more beloved characters. This should be especially obvious in Thrones.

But this point was largely ignored when I first made it, and when I made it again, so I made a top-level post. There's some branching conversation there that I might blab about later.

My deadpool money's on Dany (and Jaime). The self-inserting shipper tweens in /r/freefolk don't like that very much, as demonstrated by consistent downvoting, yet most mysteriously refrain from explaining why. And this is why voting sucks: if you can't explain your position, it has no value, and so you have no place influencing the conversation in any way. When voting affects comment visibility and makes an implicit appleal to popularity, as is constant on reddit, voting is cheating.
essentialsaltes: (dead)
[personal profile] essentialsaltes
 A 1968 collection of essays  on the the Tough Guys of 30s fiction by diverse authors, primarily academic (including Carolyn See of UCLA (Extension at the time) - her dissertation was on the Hollywood novel, and her essay here explores the well-populated cross-section of Hollywood and tough guys). I picked it up at an estate sale on a whim.

Probably the best of the bunch and a good primer on the topic is "The 'Black Mask' School" by Edgar-winning UCLA Professor Philip Durham, focusing on the origins and contents of the eponymous pulp magazine.

Some essays are insightful, others veer off into academese, others display a surprising distaste for the whole topic: 

"Although the novel is atrociously written, with ... a tone I can describe only as illiterate archness, it does contain some of the important elements of gangster fiction: an Italian hero, an unbelievable amount of brutality ..., quite a bit of very rapid and decidedly unexciting sex, a Robin Hood sort of romanticism, and some fairly knowledgeable accounts of the methods of criminals."

Of a different novel: "Chase apparently took all the elements he found striking in gangster fiction and magnified them as far as his imagination and the censors would allow; the result is one of the rarest of rare birds, a truly horrible book."

One interesting insight that caught me eye is the epigraph to an essay on Hammett, quoted from Angus Fletcher's Allegory: "[The 'daemonic agent'] will act as if possessed ... He will act part way between the human and divine spheres, touching on both, which suggests that he can be used for the model romantic hero, since romance allows its heroes both human interest and divine power. His essentially energic character will delight the reader with an appearance of unadulterated power. Like a Machiavellian prince, the allegorical hero can act free of the usual moral restraints, even when he is acting morally, since he is moral only in the interests of his power over other men. This sort of action has a crude fascination for us all; it impels us to read the detective story, the western, the saga of space exploration and interplanetary travel."

 

 


ruuger: My hand with the nails painted red and black resting on the keyboard of my laptop (Default)
[personal profile] ruuger
Hmmm... looks like I didn't have that much to say about the rest of Ten's run that I didn't already cover the last time I watched it. I did, however, like Donna a bit more this time around. The Tenth Doctor himself is also growing on me - I think he's probably my second favourite Doctor after Twelve. I mean, yes, he's a bit too shouty for my taste and the Jesus!Doctor moments are ridiculously stupid, but Tennant is charming enough to mostly make up for it. I think of all the new Doctors, he's clearly the most 'user friendly' and easily likeable, so it's no wonder he's so popular.

For some reason this season also made me very nostalgic of Fandom Wank :D

(when these episodes originally aired, I wasn't watching Doctor Who but was still aware what was happening in it thanks to Fandom Wank and the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre)

just a few random thoughts )